Board of Directors

Justin Chapman

Justin Chapman, MEMAH Board President

Communications Associate - Pacific Council on International Policy, USC

Justin Chapman is an author, journalist, travel writer, actor, poet, musician, and politician. Justin was the youngest elected member of the Altadena Town Council at age 19. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2009 and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Public Diplomacy at USC. He has written for over 20 print and digital publications, frequently for the Pasadena Weekly. His book about his travels through Africa, Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in Search of an African Utopia, was published by Rare Bird Books in January 2015.

He works as a Communications Associate at the Pacific Council on International Policy, USC. He also serves as president of Men Educating Men About Health and as secretary of the West Pasadena Residents' Association. As a professional child actor he performed in dozens of commercials, television shows, and movies. He and his wife Mercedes live in Pasadena, California.

Ralph Ringgold

Ralph Ringgold, MEMAH Board Vice-President

Multimedia Consultant - Pasadena Star News

Ralph Ringgold is a media consultant for the Southern California Newspaper Group. His home office is the Pasadena Star News. Ralph consults with a variety of local businesses helping to reach their goals by working to increase revenues through executing print and digital advertising campaign solutions. He is a product of the Pasadena public schools and is a graduate of Whittier College. Ralph also enjoys playing tennis.

Swaminatha Gurudevan

Swaminatha V. Gurudevan, MD

FACC Cardiology Healthcare Partner

Dr. Swaminatha Gurudevan is a board certified cardiologist who has received many awards during his extensive career. He is currently practicing at Healthcare Partners in Glendale. Prior to Healthcare Partners, Dr. Gurudevan practiced at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. His patients say they enjoy Dr. Gurudevan's lively sense of humor, which puts them at ease. In his spare time, he enjoys a variety of hobbies and interest, as well as spending quality time with his wife and two children. In addition to English, Dr. Gurudevan is fluent in Spanish, Tamil, and Hindi.

Dr. Rick Kittles

Rick Kittles, PhD

Founding Director, Division of Health Equities - Department of Population Sciences, City of Hope (COH)

Rick Kittles, Ph.D., is Professor and founding director of the Division of Health Equities within the Department of Population Sciences at the City of Hope (COH). He is also Associate Director of Health Equities of COH Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Kittles is well known for his research of prostate cancer and health disparities among African Americans. Dr. Kittles’ research has focused on understanding the complex issues surrounding race, genetic ancestry, and health disparities. Dr. Kittles received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from George Washington University in 1998. His first faculty appointment was at Howard University where he helped establish the National Human Genome Center at Howard University.

Over the last twenty years he has been at the forefront of the development of ancestry-informative genetic markers, and how genetic ancestry can be quantified and utilized in genomic studies on disease risk and outcomes. His work has shown the impact of genetic variation across populations in pharmacogenomics, biomarker discovery, and disease gene mapping. Although a major focus of Dr. Kittles’ work over the past years has been on measuring and utilizing West African admixture in studies of genetic disease among African Americans, presently he is expanding his research focus to further include Latino and Native American populations to further enhance the robustness of the experimental design of his research studies. Dr. Kittles has NIH-funded projects to study genetic and environmental modifiers of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels in order to improve our understanding of the role serum Vitamin D plays in health disparities. He is leading a multi-site collaboration studying modifiers of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and their role on prostate cancer susceptibility.

In 2010 Dr. Kittles was named in Ebony magazine’s "The Ebony Power 100." Ebony selected the nation's top 100 African-American "power players" in sports, academia, religion, business, environment, science & tech, entertainment, arts and letters, fashion, politics, media, activism and health. In March of 2012 Dr. Kittles presented the Keynote Address to the United Nations General Assembly, “International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” Recently Dr. Kittles was named by The Huffington Post as one of "50 Iconic Black Trailblazers Who Represent Every State In America."

Dr. Kittles has published over 160 research articles on prostate cancer genetics, Race and Genetics, and health disparities.

James McPherson

Publisher - Pasadena Now

James MacPherson is publisher of Pasadena Now, a daily online newsmagazine focused on the community, the arts, culture, education and lifestyle of Pasadena, California. It has won the City's "Harry Sheldon" Humanitarian award for community service, the local Red Cross chapter's "Business of the Year" Award 2007, and the Visual Artists Guild's "Excellence in Journalism" Award. James sits on the Board of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, and in 1997 was president of P.O.S.H., a manufacturer of couture and sartorial private label men's and ladies wear for top-tier stores like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Stanley Korshak, Wilkes Bashford and Nordstroms.

Alex Montes

Alex Montes

General Manager & Partner - California Pizza Kitchen

  • Born and raised in Southern California. Grew up in Alhambra, California and currently resides in Arcadia, California.
  • Married to April Montes with four children: Ramsses, Ernesto, Miranda and Mia Montes.

Professional

  • He began his California Pizza Kitchen career as a Busser in 1994 at the Arcadia location. The different roles that he has worked have been all front of the house positions (server, host, counter, take out, trainer and designated shift leader).
  • Promoted to Management in 2000 and to General Manager of the Arcadia location in 2002. Recently the Pasadena location has been home. He has managed many stores in Los Angeles County.
  • Actively involved within the organization to improve operations and training new procedures. Has worked in developing managers within the company as a World Class Training Center.
  • Works with local organizations within the Pasadena community to better improve health and wellness.

Personal

  • He is an avid runner participating in running events over the past five years from marathons to 10K’s.
  • Horse racing enthusiast.
  • “Adventuring” around the city to find the gems and creating memories with his children.
  • Enjoys cooking and baking to help relieve stress.
Armani Morris

Armani Morris

Product Manager - Stability Healthcare

Armani attended the University of Arizona where he majored in Psychology after graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Pasadena, CA and currently still resides in Pasadena.

Professional

He began his professional career working as an analyst with a IT consulting company based in Pasadena. His primary duties were analyzing performance and creating reports.

In 2015 he joined Stability Healthcare, located in Downtown Los Angeles in the same capacity. In 2016 he took over the development of Stability's internal software systems and was promoted to Product Manager. Now in his 2nd year at Stability, the company has been named to INC 500s fastest growing companies for the 2nd straight year.

Personal

  • He enjoys athletics, playing tennis or other sports with friends and family
  • Enjoys hiking all around Southern California
  • Enjoys cooking for his loved ones
  • He is also a mentor at Five Acres in Altadena.
Michael Rummel

Michael Rummel

Co-Founder and COO - InSource Diagnostics Inc.

Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2005, Michael Rummel has pursued a career working in the analytical and clinical sciences. He has expertise in analytical chemistry and assay development specifically dealing with Liquid Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, assay optimization, and sample preparation optimization and development.

Michael is a co-founder and holds the position of Chief Operating Officer at InSource Diagnostics, an independent laboratory on a mission to create a better patient experience and increase accessibility to preventative laboratory testing. InSource is pursuing the development of diagnostics assays that utilize a fraction of the blood needed to that of conventional assays. These assays allow for less-invasive blood sampling devices. In the COO capacity, he has become intimately involved in clinical workflows, regulatory requirements, and enforcement of strict Quality Control/Quality Assurance for clinical assays.

Carlos Sanchez

Carlos Sanchez, RDH, BSDH, MPH

Clinical Associate Professor - Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, USC

Carlos Sanchez, RDH, BSDH, MPH is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Southern California’s Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. He works in the Division of Dental Public Health and Pediatric Dentistry as co-director of its Neighborhood Mobile Dental Van Prevention Program, which focuses on reducing the prevalence of childhood caries in underserved areas of Los Angeles. Upon completion of his degree from USC’s School of Dentistry, he attained a Master in Public Health degree with an emphasis on Health Education and Promotion from the USC Keck School of Medicine. Aside from working in academia, he also enjoys working as a clinician in a family and cosmetic dental practice in Ventura County.

He has collaborated on several humanitarian efforts associated to promoting health abroad and has partnered with numerous organizations in providing dental services and education to multiple community outreach health events throughout Southern California including the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. He is an active contributing member to several organizations including the American Dental Association, American Dental Hygiene Association, and Hispanic Dental Association. He has held executive leadership positions as President of the Latino for Dental Careers Organization and the Hispanic Dental Association of Los Angeles which provides Service, Education, Advocacy and Leadership for the elimination of oral health disparities in the Latino community. He currently serves on the national scholarship committee for the HDA Foundation; is on the Board of Directors for the USC Century Club Dental Alumni Association; and is the faculty advisor for the Hispanic Student Dental Association at USC's Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. He’s an avid sports enthusiast and athlete himself and loves traveling the world both near and far.

Pouya Shafieikerman

Pouya Shafieikermani, RDCS

Lead Cardiovascular Sonographer & Regional Director - Pro Bono Ultrasound Screening

Pouya Shafieikermani is an RDCS, Registered Cardiovascular Sonographer, with over five years of experience in the field. He is skilled in performing a myriad of studies such as complex diagnostic ultrasound and vascular procedures, pharmacologic stress echo imaging studies, and contract echo, just to name a few.

Pouya holds an Associate's Degree (AD) in Cardiovascular Sonography from West Coast Ultrasound Institute, Beverly Hills Campus, where he currently serves as both Lead Cardiovascular Sonographer and Regional Director of Pro Bono Ultrasound Screening.

Pouya is a modern day humanitarian who continues to strive to ensure his students strive to aspire to be the best. His heart beats for the Los Angeles and surrounding communities by continuing to dedicate his time, talent, and treasure to screen the less fortunate, and pour his knowledge and expertise into both novice and veteran medical professionals.